The longest running comparison for Tom Hanks in terms of Golden Era Hollywood has always been Jimmy Stewart - that kindly everyman who was affable and fair-minded, a cinematic model of American decency, even though he could stretch into morally hazy roles if need be (his turn in Charlie Wilson's War remains undervalued). So, watching Hanks take that persona and parlay it into playing the late, great icon of upstanding neighborly behavior, Fred Rogers, should be quite the heart-warming treat.
Titled You Are My Friend, the biopic is written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue (Transparent) and Noah Harpster (One Mississippi), and directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), and will take an End of the Tour approach to depicting Rogers, as it tells the story of:
"A real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and award-winning journalist Tom Junod, where the cynical journalist begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on the beloved icon and finds his perspective on life transformed."
No word on whether it will include that time when a thirty-year-old George Romero directed an episode about Rogers getting a Tonsillectomy.
We also don't know who will be playing Junod (writer's wish: please let it be Heller's husband, Jorma Taccone, or someone of that ilk), but this suddenly shot up the ranks of everyone at BMD's must see lists. Hanks is never anything less than one of the most charming screen presences to ever be in movies, so seeing him take on another American icon will be quite a thrill.